When did you first meet
"He showed up at a party for Jackie Kennedy that the group
and I were playing. We were ensconced in this platform bed that
Henry Galsall had in his house. There was secret service everywhere
and it was jammed and we had to stop playing because we were
just making a huge racket in a very small space. He showed up
with his entourage and that was the first taste that I had of
that papparazi style that he was happy with. He'd take groups
of a dozen people with him everywhere."
Why did he like to
"Oh, safety in numbers. It was always like a caravan. There
was something going on all the time and everyone around him was
kind of like court jesters. All of this was on a blatently and
enthusiastically pointless level. Everybody was having a lot
of fun and doing nothing. But if you went to the Factory, the
opposite was true. You saw these people grubbing around on the
floor making silk screens which was a lot of hard work. So I
don't think it stopped. For him it was work."
He was always absorbing
"Yeah, absolutely. Anybody new that would come along. Somebody
would always be in touch. It was like having a periphery around
him that was always aware of what else was going on."
What did he bring
to the Velvets?
"He protected us in a way. He made sure that whatever our
instincts were about what our songs should be about was there
all the time. He kept reminding us. Sometimes we'd be off in
twenty four different directions at once and when we'd lose focus
on something he'd remind us of it. It was important, with Lou
I think, with the songwriting, he knew that Lou was happiest
when he was given tasks to do. He said here's 14 titles, write
me 14 different songs on these titles. And Lou loved that challenge."
Was he an easy person
to get on with?
"Very easy. I enjoyed his company because he was always
very precise. I'd never go to him just to have a conversation.
Because he'd be having conversatons with five different people
at the same time going on. The only reason to go and talk to
him was to solve a problem. And solving a problem, it was a pleasure
to watch. It was always so easy for him to come around and just
benignly solve something that was intractible before. There was
a certain amount of magic about that."
Do you have any specific
memories of Andy?
"The way he handled the press. There was a show we did up
in Providence, the TV people came up for it. In those days there
was a very formal sort of television. The news anchorman came
out to you. If that happened then that was really big news. Get
him out of the studio, get the anchor person out. They came round
to the place where we were performing and we were up there making
a racket and Andy was called out to come and do this interview.
And instead of standing there with his talking head, he decided
to lay down on the floor and do the interview lying on the floor.
Which was great television. This guy was enjoying himself as
well. There was one of those glass balls on the ceiling, a crystal
ball, that sprayed the whole room with these flecks of light
and the guy wanted to know why Andy was lying on the floor for
this interview and Andy looked up at the celiing and said 'look,
I can see all the stars'. The guy was not ready for Andy's naivity.
And that incredulity was really what worked for him al the time."
Was he always looking
at the stars throughout his life?
"Yeah. He had plenty of them around him. He was looking
for them and at them."
Do you think he changed
as a person after he was shot?
"He tried not to but he did. It was very difficult for him.
I don't think he understood why somebody could...there were a
lot of people around that were unstable. And this one particular
person, there were a lot of people like her."
How do you think he
"He was hurt. And I think from his point of view there was
something in there, in him, that said how on earth could this
have happened, what did I do that was wrong? Because the guy
was always trying to be saintly in some way or other about what
he was doing. Even if he was arguing and playing a tight game
financially with people and not being an easy businessman to
deal with. He personally felt 'I didn't do anything wrong here'.
There was a lack of understanding, which I guess everybody goes
through and it really punctures the bubble that you live in."
Did he become less
"I don't know about confident. I wouldn't go that far. I
think just more cautious. And slightly withdrawn. He just couldn't
go out and do what he did before. Paul had seen this developing
and was just outraged that things hadn't been done about it before.
And then she came back again afterwards and all of this was just
nightmarish. So when this thing was not over, it just put more
and more stress on his social activities."
What impact has Warhol
had on popular culture?
"Well, I'm always worried that the colours will fade and
they won't be as bright as I remember them or as bright as they
were originally which is always something that painters have
to put up with. But it's the way he absorbed all of advertising.
And clear images. Like mostof the pop artists. By blowing them
up they became clearer."
Do you still see his
"Yeah. Everybody's trying to use that one image, like a
banana or something else. Iconic thinking like that was there
before he came along, but he popped it into everybody's face."
What's your fabourite
"The Brillo Box. When I think of all the opportunities there
were to get a piece by Andy. I mean there were all these Brillo
boxes sitting around the Factory and we all just sat on them.
They were like boxes to sit on and rehearse and play. But they
were really on their way out to galleries and whatever. I'm wondering
how blind I was to their value at the time."
Was his talent was
seeing value in the everyday?
"Yeah. Because everybody knew the everyday. So he got through
to more people."
Will there ever be
another Andy Warhol?
"I suppose so. I think these terms change don't they every
five years. His name will change in five years. It'll mean something
go back to how does it feel